New Moon May 24,2009

New Moon May 24, 2009

Greetings from Fiji,

Alicia on the hill overlooking Nabua Lodge, Yasawas, Fiji

Alicia on the hill overlooking Nabua Lodge, Yasawas, Fiji

I am so blessed to be in this warm, green, friendly group of islands. I got to have a much needed rest, rejuvenation time here in the Yasawa islands off one of the main islands of Fiji. Definitely jewels in the pacific. This is a very friendly alternative travelers paradise with crystal clear waters, easy transportation, yummy food and lots of folks from all over the world.

Back in the Water
To my delight a very tiny orange and black fish stayed with me for an hour in front of my mask as I got my first taste of warm Fijian waters with deep purple, lime green, salmon, white and sand colored coral all below me. The reefs are shallow and so great for snorkeling. I am in paradise. Lots of lime green and bright blue chromos fish, the orange clown fish(like Nemo), long silver slithering trumpet fish, fluorescent blue spotted damsel fish greeted my eyes. To my utter fascination I viewed a lion fish for the first time in the water. These fish are shy and solitary. When swimming they look stunning with their long red, grey, and black feathery side fins that look like Lakota eagle bonnets on their sides and tops. Their faces really do look like lions with fullness of gills puffing out around their faces. What a treat. My body feels stronger every day as I swim for 1 to 2 hours.

Kava

Kava ceremony, singing and drinking

Kava ceremony, singing and drinking

My banjo was a curious addition to the guitar and uke playing which accompanies the kava ceremony. I was honored to participate in 4 different ceremonies. Kava is a root which is pounded to a fine brown powder then put inside a cotton bag which is rinsed many times with water. A song is sung and then the kava is passed about to all participants. There is a tradition to clap your hands once before drinking with everyone clapping 3 times back to you. Then after drinking you clap your hands three times. No one seems to know how this tradition started. I do know kava is a favored drink in Tonga as well though the clapping number is different. After 6 or 7 cups of a watery brown herby flavored drink served in a coconut shell, I started to feel my eyes droop,my mind mellow and my tongue tingle. The songs were mellow,had beautiful harmonies and very haunting. All were played in the key of D to make thinking about anything unimportant.

Mother’s Day
As in Tonga, the Fijian people are very tuned to their Christian services on Sunday singing beautiful 4 part harmonies. I was honored to attend a Sunday service in the nearby village near Nabua Resort where I was staying where Buma, the local tea shop lady was presiding in her long sleeved purple dress. I went to her home before and borrowed a lime green dress to be perfectly dressed covering my knees and shoulders. Afterward she invited me to a typical Fijian feast to celebrate with her family Mother’s Day. Very unceremoniously we put down a large blue tarp with a strip of pink fabric to act as the table. Then bowels of steaming pork in a yellow sauce,spicy BBQed pork, a coconut spinach like dish were served along with huge amounts of cassava, sweet potato and tapioca. All of this cooked in the outdoor kitchen or in an underground oven. There were the elderly parents as well as the youngest, a toddler were all served a bowel of pork sausage noodle vegie soup .A pink colored cool aid type drink was served also. I added a sung grace to the grace said and we all commenced to feast. Afterwards a bowel of water was passed around to wash your hands as the roots and some of the pork was eaten with your hands. Though I enjoyed the feast I do hunger for the green salads that I love so much.

Fijian feast

Fijian feast

Fijian anniversary
Back from the islands, John and his partner Baba invited me to her parents 54th anniversary Indian style. Fiji is made up of approximately 50% Indians. The whole family turned out to help mom and dad celebrate with chicken and duck curry, rice, dahl and a tasty mint chutney. I got my banjo out and a few percussion instruments to add to the festivities. What a welcoming back to the main island.

Tonga Bound
OK also have a look at the whale sail Tonga in the website. I am off to Tonga soon to join Captain James and focus on the next adventure…guiding folks with the humpbacks. We have lots to do including obtaining that license. Know that these relaxing days will fuel my next surge of activity.

Blessings to you all..may your dreams blossom and grow up strong and healthy….
Merlady

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